Robot revolution: Given the rate at which technology has advanced over the past decade (and before), it's definitely no surprise to see robots, AI, and other automated systems replace many jobs traditionally held by humans. However, the sheer number of areas that this tech has expanded to continues to surprise. Robots are being used for medical diagnoses, cooking, and soon, they will take the place of several humans at the 2020 Olympics.
At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, carmaker Toyota will begin deploying Field Support Robots (FSRs) to assist contestants in the Olympic Stadium. These FSRs will carry various pieces of event-specific gear, including javelins and other thrown items, and most importantly, they will be completely autonomous.
They will possess the ability to follow official Olympics staff around, avoiding obstacles and "determining the optimal route to travel"; presumably using artificial intelligence.
It's unclear if the FSRs will be capable of retrieving items that have already been thrown, but that seems unlikely. It doesn't appear to have any way of gripping objects, so humans will probably still be needed to remove (or add) items from its cargo space.
The FSRs are not the only robots Toyota is taking to the next Olympics. The company will also bring "Human Support Robots" and "Delivery Support Robots" to the event, which will guide guests to their seats or offer them "light meals," or even deliver "drinks and other goods" that they've ordered via a dedicated tablet.
There's also the T-TR1, a "remote location communication robot" that can project an image of a user from a remote location. Think of it as a telepresence robot for people who want to feel like they're at the Olympics, but cannot actually attend. Tying into this, Toyota also plans to debut the T-HR3 "humanoid robot" at the Olympics. This bot will give remote guests a "unique way" to interact with athletes without the need to be there in person.
Toyota plans to debut a couple of other robots at the Olympics, too, but they're a bit less practical. You can read about them (and all the bots mentioned above) on Toyota's official website.